House Republicans have passed a bill that cuts spending elsewhere to offset some of the increased disaster relief aid. Democrats oppose offsets for emergency aid, saying disaster relief for Americans in need should be unencumbered. The Democratic-led Senate rejected the House measure on Friday by a 59-36 vote.
The package would fund the government for the first seven weeks of the new fiscal year that starts Saturday.
For the third time in six months, a partial government shutdown is possible if the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate fail to agree on the short-term spending plan by Friday -- the end of the current fiscal year.
As it goes with the jobs bill, so goes it with helping those in most dire need of help: we don't matter to Republicans, they just want a pound of flesh for an ounce of cure.
We have a party that is determined to undermine and sabotage the very fabric of American society, Christianity, egged on by yahoos who cheer tragedy and applaud death.
And now, they'll allow their fellow citizens to flounder in waist deep mud and mold and slime as the winter approaches. All for a few bucks from a couple of programs that might actually help prevent these kinds of tragedies in the first place.
There's a major disconnect going on in politics right now, a major short-circuit in the "responsible" wing of the American electorate that should frighten and chill any reasonable person, left or right.
Even the Republicans realize how asinine they all sound right now. This is why Chris Christie, who under normal circumstances wouldn't even be considered for Vice President, is being lobbies so hard to run in 2012. Despite strict pronouncements that he will not run. Which would of course have him enter the race as a hypocrite.
That's what it's come down to for Republicans: so desperate to find a credible candidate in 2012, they've decided the best they can run is a hypocrite.
The disturbing part for me is that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have precious few work-arounds for such a critical need. Barring radical thinking, and I'll give you some ideas in a moment, Obama's hands are tied here. He can't do an end run around the Republicans in the House, he can't have the Dems tack this funding as an amendment onto every bill Congress brings to the floor-- altho that would be an interesting dynamic, it would weaken terribly the legitimate argument that this measure should stand alone, apart from any other concern of Congress-- and he can't bully pulpit a party determined to watch the nation burn, literally.
The office of the President is charged in Article II of the Constitution with "faithfully executing" the laws Congress passes. In the past, some Presidents have assumed this to mean the President may impound money for programs the Congress has funded, and in those case, the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional.
It does not say the President cannot alter funding that Congress has passed. Redirect, rebalance, re-apportion.
For example, there's nothing that would stop President Obama from redirecting an earmark or two from, say, Congressman's Frank Giunta's beloved hometown of Manchester, NH, to help the flood victims of neighboring Vermont.
After all, I'm sure Congressman Giunta would want to do everything in his power to assist his neighbors. That's what Teabaggers are all about, right?
It's hard to believe we've come to this crossroads, where American would refuse to assist American simply because we spent trillions in lands fighting for the very freedoms we're trying so hard to defend here at home, but this is what we've come to, sadly.